Keith Thurman To Bob Arum: “You Can Barely Pay Your Own Fighters!”

Keith Thurman lets all his rage loose on Bob Arum

Bob Arum (left), Keith Thurman
Bob Arum (left), Keith Thurman

Keith Thurman lets all his rage loose on Bob Arum

There is no denying that former welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s) is one talented individual. Yet, fighting is not his only gifted ability. Thurman is also very skilled at making memorable statements in front of a recording camera. Obviously, One Time had great deal to get off his chest! In a recent social media rant, he just aimed a mouth-full of venom at Top Rank top dog Bob Arum. The verbal lashing came as a result of statements that Arum issued in one of his latest interviews.

While making an appearance on Barbershop Conversations, Arum took the time to field questions regarding Thurman. In discussing the Floridian, Arum stated that Thurman had reached out to face WBO world welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (37-0, 28 KO’s). However, in his discourse, the Top Rank head honcho was more than a little bit dismissive of One Time. Clearly, Thurman did not like what he heard!

“Look man, I’m about to snap on Bob real quick! Bob, you a piece of shit, you are one of the worst promoters in the game, okay! All of your great fighters left yo ass! Oscar De La Hoya left yo ass! Floyd Mayweather left yo ass! Manny Pacquiao left yo ass! Am I missing anybody? [Terence] Crawford, he about to leave yo ass! Bob you know what’s up.”

“You know that I never ask for anything, it’s not my fault you can’t afford a great fight! Okay? You cheap as shit! You can barely pay your own fighters good money, okay? That ain’t my fault! You got ESPN backing you, you got Terence Crawford, one of the most talented welterweights in the welterweight division and you can’t get him paid! You can’t make him famous enough!”

“…now you mad because the PBC opponents, you can’t afford a PBC fighter! You can’t afford us Bob, I’m sorry!”


In mid-2020, Thurman was heavily gunning for a bout with Crawford. During this time, Bud’s trainer, Brain “BoMac” McIntyre alleged that One Time asked for ten million dollars to make the fight. Naturally, this tremendous sum of money was swiftly dismissed and it was deemed that Thurman was pricing himself out the fight, especially since he was coming off his first professional loss to WBA super world welterweight champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO’s).

During the Q&A on Barbershop Conversations, Arum briefly ventured into those former talks. The hefty price tag was rehashed and Thurman was once again deemed more trouble than he was worth. Now however, Thurman states he does not need nearly that much money, but will not accept an insulting amount either.

“Look man, I don’t need no ten million dollars, but I need some respect! And the respect come in the check, alright! The respect come in the check! Ain’t my fault I’m an opponent and I’m worth more money than your champion, undefeated, welterweight champion. That ain’t my fault, that’s your fault Bob, your fault Bob! That’s evidence of you doing a shitty ass job Bob! Man, stop talking shit Bob!”

“Terence Crawford wanted to fight me last year! Terence Crawford wants to fight Shawn Porter, Terence Crawford wants to fight Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford wants a great fight! Your fucking promoter can’t afford it Terence alright! He can’t put on a good show for you!”


In all likelihood, if left to him, Arum will not directly respond to this verbal vitriol whatsoever. Of course, he will be asked about it in the future and he will probably dismiss it quickly. Yet, all eyes have been, and will remain, on his fighter Bud Crawford. It is no secret that Crawford is in desperate need of securing a big fight within the division. It is also no secret that a great wedge became lodged between Bud and Arum in the closing months of 2020.

In somewhat surprising fashion, Arum very publicly threw Crawford under the bus. One would have expected that he extoll Bud as a significant asset to his company. Instead, Arum acted as if he could not care less about losing him from his stable of fighters. With all the bitter back and forth, the rapidly-approaching end to Crawford’s Top Rank contract loomed in the background.

So, moving forward it will be telling to see if Bud does part ways with Arum. Like it or not, Thurman was not making things up out of thin air. In hindsight, Arum has not done the best to promote Crawford. For example, many have pointed to the far greater energy put into Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO’s). Despite being a non-English speaking, Ukrainian born fighter, Top Rank has poured a ton of promotion into Hi-Tech.

It is also true that the best fights for Crawford are all on the PBC side of things. Not only that, the PBC has long had the reputation of paying their fighters well. In fact, the PBC fighters have been paid so handsomely that a number of individuals site the fact as a negative. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if Crawford finally starts believing that the grass truly is greener with the opposition!

By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a writer and contributor for Visit to view more of his literary work.